Early this morning, I was on my way to the gym. To be honest, this doesn't happen very often (at least not first thing in the bloody morning). But for once I'd had an early night and woke up before my alarm - so I chucked on some leggings and ran out the door towards the beach. I watched the sunrise over the sea and headed to the gym for a lovely swim and a sauna to warm up before I went to work.
Gold star me. This rare little tale makes me sound far more wholesome than I really am, and I must admit I was feeling pretty Zen/smug.
Then, when I was nearly at the gym, I passed a branch of Pizza Hut. I have lived in Brighton for eight years now (have I, or is it nine?) and I have never once been inside this branch of Pizza Hut. In fact, I don't think I have been in *any* branch of Pizza Hut for far longer than that.
Now, I am not a food snob by any stretch of the imagination. I love a burger when I am hungover; for this very reason, I'm afraid I have frequented the Burger King at Victoria station more times than I care to remember. I also love a pizza. We're lucky to have some really great pizza places in Brighton - not only do they do 'proper' pizza but they tend to be a lot cheaper than a Pizza Hut takeaway, so it doesn't really get a look-in these days.
However, just the sight of the Pizza Hut sign in this scenario made me (as they say) literally 'LOL'. Because no matter how long it's been since I was last there, the Pizza Hut sign is part of my history. And it used to be to get out of gym...
When I was in Sixth Form (bearing in mind I had stayed on at my small school rather than going to a less-archaic sixth form college), Wednesday afternoon was Games afternoon. The sportier girls would play hockey or run cross-country. At the time, I was definitely not one of them. One of the options was to go to the local public gym for the afternoon instead. My similarly non-athletic best friends and I worked out that this was the best option - because it wasn't highly monitored. So, we could go to Pizza Hut for the afternoon instead. In those days (the dim and distant late 90s), the all-you-can-eat lunchtime buffet was £4.99 (I was shocked to note this morning that it is now £6.99! but pleased it still exists). More to the point, you could get a refillable Diet Coke and (shamefully) back then we used to take full advantage of the fact that you could still smoke in there, which seems unthinkable now!
For a second, I quite fancied a slice of pizza, even at that time of the morning - an impulse that never goes away? But I carried on to the gym, weighing up the ratios of how things change and how they stay the same.